Jackpot Factory & US Customs

linda7

Quit Gambling
Joined
Apr 12, 2002
Location
Brooklyn, NY
Hi everyone,

I made a withdrawal of 25K from Wild Jack casino last week. As usual, it was promptly processed and sent out via Fed Ex. However, it is being held in the US Customs office, in Newark New Jersey for investigation of fraud. I have called the Jackpot Factory VIP Department atleast 10 times, only to be given a complete run around. Instead of the casino workers moving their asses and trying to sort this mess out, I am calling everyone and their mother to try and find out if I will ever receive this package. I have never heard of US Customs holding up International checks and am at the end of my rope. Any suggestions? I have given up on calling JP Factory and Wild Jack simply because if I have to listen to one more foreign voice or a 20 year old kid, I am going to scream! I have PM'd the Operations Manager and am waiting for him/her to find the time to respond. In the meantime, anyone have any ideas as to what I should/could do? Any and all help will be appreciated. Thanks.
 

blankley

Dormant account
Joined
Mar 11, 2005
Location
uk
if I have to listen to one more foreign voice.....

How terrible for you. They shouldn't be allowed.
 

thelawnet

Dormant account
Joined
Apr 4, 2005
Location
UK
linda7 said:
Hi everyone,

I made a withdrawal of 25K from Wild Jack casino last week. As usual, it was promptly processed and sent out via Fed Ex. However, it is being held in the US Customs office, in Newark New Jersey for investigation of fraud. I have called the Jackpot Factory VIP Department atleast 10 times, only to be given a complete run around. Instead of the casino workers moving their asses and trying to sort this mess out, I am calling everyone and their mother to try and find out if I will ever receive this package. I have never heard of US Customs holding up International checks and am at the end of my rope. Any suggestions? I have given up on calling JP Factory and Wild Jack simply because if I have to listen to one more foreign voice or a 20 year old kid, I am going to scream! I have PM'd the Operations Manager and am waiting for him/her to find the time to respond. In the meantime, anyone have any ideas as to what I should/could do? Any and all help will be appreciated. Thanks.

I can understand you are aggrieved at not receiving $25k, but if the money is with US Customs that would appear to be outside Jackpot Factory's control.

My understanding is that online gambling is illegal in the USA.

So what can Jackpot Factory do about a check inside US customs?

My reading of the situation would be that they could get the check cancelled and send you another one.... Have you asked for them to do that, as there appears to be nothing they can do about Customs authorities in a country they are not based in.
 

linda7

Quit Gambling
Joined
Apr 12, 2002
Location
Brooklyn, NY
My reply from US Customs

I spoke with the Customs Department and the reason for the hold up is that the checks seem to be fake! They are verifying this with JP Factory's bank and will take a while to confirm. In the meantime, I have been suggesting all week that they cancel the original checks and simply send new ones, but that was another problem altogether. I have put JP Factory in touch with US Customs and they will sort it out. Supposedly, I will have my check tomorrow (and it will be legit). We shall see.
 

spearmaster

RIP Ted
Joined
Jan 12, 2001
Location
Heaven
Something is fishy here.

Customs are not supposed to be intercepting checks. Checks have no customs duty. Whether or not the check is fake, it's none of their business.

I highly doubt that JF would be passing off fake checks anyhow. But I suggest you call customs again and ask them to explain how their authority gives them the right to intercept a private communication with no products or dutiable items enclosed.
 

UKDafoe

Dormant account
Joined
Jan 5, 2005
Location
US/UK
IF Jackpot Factory declared the value of the package at $25,000 I believe the Customs department could seize and investigate it/
 

Casinomeister

Forum Cheermeister
Staff member
Joined
Jun 30, 1998
Location
Bierland
blankley said:
if I have to listen to one more foreign voice....
Ha ha, perhaps that was what the CS rep in South Africa was thinking when he got the call from Brooklyn :D

spearmaster said:
Customs are not supposed to be intercepting checks. Checks have no customs duty. Whether or not the check is fake, it's none of their business.
Spear has a point. Something is up and I would grill the custom agents on why exactly this was intercepted. I run intoo customs hassles all the time. If I receive a gift from outside the EU and there is no invoice (for a gift - eh?), I have to travel for a good 45 minutes one-way to pick it up, and pay any customs tax due.

But this is a Fed Ex envelope. Sounds like someone is getting paranoid.
 

linda7

Quit Gambling
Joined
Apr 12, 2002
Location
Brooklyn, NY
US Customs and Int'l packages

According to the US Customs "terms and conditions regarding International Mail" they have the right to scan it, open it and decide whether or not to process the shipment. It is at their sole discretion, and there is nothing no one can do. They did want to speak to JP Factory, and I gave JP the phone number yesterday, but they are too busy to make the call. Lastly, I just spoke with Eric from VIP at JP Factory and this is not the first time their checks have had their authenticity questioned. Personally, I do not think that JP's checks are illegitimate. I just think they could have put a stop payment on them, and issued me new ones. However, this must be the week that they sit on their hands as they have done nothing at all. I even PM'd their operations manager, he/she has not responded either.
 

GrandMaster

Ueber Meister
CAG
Joined
Jan 21, 2004
Location
UK
UKDafoe said:
IF Jackpot Factory declared the value of the package at $25,000 I believe the Customs department could seize and investigate it/
Checks have no intrinsic value. You have to declare cash, traveller's cheques and similar items above $10000, but this does not apply to cheques. Whenever I received chequed by Fedex, the envelope just said "Documents". I think there is more to the story, it is very unlikely that the cheque would be picked out by a random inspection.
 

linda7

Quit Gambling
Joined
Apr 12, 2002
Location
Brooklyn, NY
Reply to Grandmaster:

Hi Grandmaster,

Initially I felt the same as you. It took me approximately 25 phone calls before I stumbled onto the right department at the Customs office. Apparently, they are scanning most international mail, especially those from Canada (I asked for a reason and was not given anything specific). Then I was asked what was in the envelope, and I said a letter inside an envelope. They said "are you saying there are no checks inside"? I replied "yes there are three totalling 25,000 and what the hell gives you the right to open my mail?" They quoted their "terms and conditions regarding international mail and then told me that these three checks are fakes"! When I told them that I doubted this very much, they insinuated that I was naive. I was informed that they will be authenticating the checks and the bank on which the checks were drawn, and in either case, I would not be receiving this package. I immediately contacted JF, and gave them the number to the Customs Dept. so they could sort this mess out. JF has not bothered to call customs, put a stop payment on the checks, or give me any answer as to when they will pay me. Earlier today, they said they would issue me new checks and overnight them to me....however, their latest fairy tale is that Management and Finance must decide on the best way to proceed. I honestly, do not know what to think at this point. The fact that Jackpot Factory is doing nothing to protect their integrity leaves me with very bad feelings towards this group. Additionally, all week they have not responded to my emails, so I am forced to call them only to hear a new story in this wonderful world of online gaming.
 

spearmaster

RIP Ted
Joined
Jan 12, 2001
Location
Heaven
Linda, something is still wrong.

Ask them for the specific reference to the Customs code which says that they can open your international mail - and either send that code to you by email, or a link to the specific statute online which says that they can do so - and if they can't, inform them that you will be calling your lawyers.

They sound WORSE than an online casino quoting terms and conditions!

Re: JF - believe it or not, there are many variables involved, including who you are talking to, who makes decisions regarding payments, how the problem is presented to them (ie. they may understand the problem differently than you do), etc.

PM or email me with any details and I'll see if I can help. But I really think you need the lawyers to stick it to Customs.
 

spearmaster

RIP Ted
Joined
Jan 12, 2001
Location
Heaven
Ok, I got this from a Customs document online:
The United States Customs territory consists of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. In general, all mail originating outside United States Customs territory that is to be delivered inside U.S. Customs territory is subject to Customs examination. Mail arriving from outside the U.S. Virgin Islands that is to be delivered inside the U.S. Virgin Islands is also subject to Customs examination.

Mail entering the United States from abroad arrives first at the U.S. Postal Service. The Postal Service then sends packages to U.S. Customs for examination and to assess duty, if indeed any is owed. Customs processing is required for civilian parcels as well as for those sent from overseas military postal facilities (APO/FPO).

Note very carefully that, while the first paragraph refers to mail, the second refers to PACKAGES. In other words, any such "package" would possibly have dutiable goods inside, NOT documents. Nothing I can find refers to their right to open your mail and inspect your checks for validity. Their job is to inspect the package and assess it for customs duty.

On Fedex, there is more:
The following items are prohibited into the United States of America by law:

White phosphorus matches

Immoral articles (as defined in 19CFR12.40) including films, pictures, writings, etc.

Merchandise produced by convict, forced or indentured labor (as defined in 19CFR12.42)

Counterfeit coins, stamps, currency or other monetary securities of any government and any plates, dies or apparatus used to create such counterfeits.

Switchblade/Balisong/gravity/ballistic knives

Merchandise from countries under U.S. Sanction or embargo

Articles containing dog or cat fur

Note the part about counterfeit - it says "coins, currency or monetary securities of any government".

Checks are not monetary securities of a government. Thus, Customs has no right to intercept or determine the validity of a check.

Furthermore, throughout the Fedex page (
You do not have permission to view link Log in or register now.
) they refer to goods and packages - NOT documents!

In my opinion, they are toying with you. Get Customs to prove their case or release the shipment immediately.
 

jetset

RIP Brian
CAG
Joined
Feb 22, 2001
Location
Earth
Given the gigantic amount of international mail that must enter the USA every day, this letter (as opposed to package) was presumably picked out at random. Unless it was not in an unmarked envelope ie maybe one with "Jackpot Factory" or something like that emblazoned all over it.

That still would not give officialdom the right to invade your private mail imo, Linda.

Regarding JF's unresponsiveness, that may be because the idea of US Customs checking back on them may be making them nervous, given the legal uncertainties concerning online gaming in the States - it's a pretty scary thought even to folks outside the US.

They may be trying to decide on the best way forward, but that does not excuse them ignoring your attempts to communicate - they should be working with you on this.
 

mary

Dormant account
Joined
Dec 12, 2000
I just had a paranoid thought:

What if Linda hasn't been talking to any real Customs agents at all?

It's just such a goofy story, they're holding checks because they think they're fake?

Linda, were you provided the "Customs" contact information by the casino? Or did you get it out of the phone book?

I agree that the casino should just cancel the checks and send new ones. heck, why they are messing about with checks at all is a mystery. She deposited and gambled electronically why not get paid electronically.

And why three checks? My paranoid mind looks at that and thinks, "hm. avoids any checks over $10k. That way bank reporting will not be triggered."

That's bad juju too.
 

Annorax

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Joined
Jan 3, 2005
Location
Iowa
mary said:
I just had a paranoid thought:

What if Linda hasn't been talking to any real Customs agents at all?

It's just such a goofy story, they're holding checks because they think they're fake?

Linda, were you provided the "Customs" contact information by the casino? Or did you get it out of the phone book?

I agree that the casino should just cancel the checks and send new ones. heck, why they are messing about with checks at all is a mystery. She deposited and gambled electronically why not get paid electronically.

And why three checks? My paranoid mind looks at that and thinks, "hm. avoids any checks over $10k. That way bank reporting will not be triggered."

That's bad juju too.

Any sane bank would report those immediately, especially if they suspect the depositor (or casino) of structuring, which has far worse legal repercussions than Customs pressing charges for attempted receipt of counterfeit securities.
 

Casinomeister

Forum Cheermeister
Staff member
Joined
Jun 30, 1998
Location
Bierland
Bizzare - really bizarre!

What the hell is customs doing trying to find out if a check it good or not? I can see them now "Lookit here, Tony! It's a check from one of 'dem internit casinos I seen on Fox - gotta be fake!"

"Damn terrorist bastards - sending us fake checks!"

Quick question, if Jackpot Factory cancels these checks - how're they going to send the next batch? :what:
 

Casinomeister

Forum Cheermeister
Staff member
Joined
Jun 30, 1998
Location
Bierland
mary said:
...I agree that the casino should just cancel the checks and send new ones. heck, why they are messing about with checks at all is a mystery. She deposited and gambled electronically why not get paid electronically...
Quick side note: I prefer checks for winnings. Casino winnings in Germany are tax-exempt. I turn them in to the tax man with a letter from the casino congratulating me on my winnings :D

Can't do that with Neteller.
 

elscrabinda

Full Member
PABnoaccred
PABnorogue
Joined
Oct 20, 2004
Location
Oxford
Simple fact is that its unbelievable that Linda is having to do any of the leg work herself. It is up to JF to pay her and they are failing in that and don't seem to give two hoots. If Linda is a VIP, how the hell do they treat their normal customers?

It always amazes me that casinos seem perfectly happy to see their reputations dragged through the mud. We're potentially talking about a major casino group issuing fake cheques here! I'm not saying they are but every now and again it would be nice for a casino to do something to reassure players that they're not all crooks
 

linda7

Quit Gambling
Joined
Apr 12, 2002
Location
Brooklyn, NY
Re: Seizure from US Customs

Hi everyone,

Thanks for your input and information. I will try to answer all the questions (with the info that I have received) posted. First of all the package which is a fedex envelope was seized from Fed Ex on June 28th at 12:27 am. I have asked Federal Express if this has ever happened before and they said yes, but would not comment on specific reasons claiming they do not know why. I was given the telephone number to US Customs in Newark, NJ by Federal Express. It was a general 800 number, which lists different departments and you then call that particular department. When I finally was able to find the correct department, I was told that an Officer Watson was handling this situation and to call him/her between 8am and 4pm est. Since it was after hours, I waited til the next morning. When I called, I was told about the checks looking "bogus" and they were contacting the bank to check on their validity. It was at this time that I asked what gave them the right to open my package, and they quoted to me their "terms and conditions". They also said that I would not be receiving this shipment and to contact the sender. All the while, I have been emailing JF, and did not receive one damn response. Apparently Kate Morgan has fallen off the face of the earth as has their operations manager listed here, since he has not responded to my PM. This morning I called Fed Ex again to see if they had an update and all they were able to give me was the seizure number, and a different phone number to call and ask for Ron. Since it is not quite 8am here, I called anyway but there was no answer. I will keep calling until I find this "Ron" and get additional details.

What has me totally pissed off, is the fact that JF is doing NOTHING about this situation at all!!! All they keep saying is, "if we have to cancel the checks (duh! this should have been done already to protect their own ass) it will be quite a while before I get paid. Well, I have plenty of time, and am in no need for the $25,000. However, JF has not done one thing about this problem and I am tired of doing their job for them. Plus if they would respond to my emails I might feel more comfortable about this group. It is THIER checks that are in US Customs hands and I feel it is up to them to do something!!! The bottom line is that they are responsible to pay me and they are stalling completely.

I will post additional info after I speak with Ron at Customs and see what I can do from this end.
 
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